classical music

James McVinnie: Bach and New Patterns

Part of Classical Season 2020/21

Hear the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, Philip Glass and Nico Muhly, striving for perfection and glimpsing the heavenly, on Royal Festival Hall’s iconic organ.

Philip Glass played the music of Bach as a child, undergraduate and aspiring young composer in Paris. From Bach, he learned how music might be grand and intricate, diligent yet imaginative.

The Art of Fugue is one of Bach's most obsessive and intriguing conceptions – his most in-depth and exhaustive exploration of the musical possibilities of a single musical theme.

Musical material is stretched, compressed, superimposed, fragmented and, in the case of the mirror fugues, turned completely upside down.

Written in 1969, Philip Glass’ rarely heard Music in Fifths offers a musical canvas in which the same five notes are repeated in constantly shifting patterns, producing a mesmerising and beguiling effect on the listener – musical mathematics of a very different kind.

Written in 2014 for the great organist John Scott shortly before he died, Patterns by Nico Muhly is a rhythmic world all of its own: 'full of filigree figuration and no little rhythmic complexity', according to Choir & Organ.

McVinnie completes the concert with the balm of one of Bach’s most heartfelt and intimate settings of the choral ‘When in the hour of utmost need’.

Performers

James McVinnie organ

Repertoire

JS Bach: Contrapunctus 1; Contrapunctus 7 (Per aug et dim); Contrapunctus 9 (Alla duodecima) from The Art of Fugue
Philip Glass: Music in fifths
JS Bach: Contrapunctus 13a (a 3, rectus); Contrapunctus 13b (a 3, inversus) from The Art of Fugue ; Prelude and Fugue in C minor, BWV.546
Interval
JS Bach: Fantasia in G (Pièce d'orgue), BWV.572 ; Pastorale in F, BWV.590
Nico Muhly: Patterns
JS Bach: Fuga a 3 soggetti (unfinished) from The Art of Fugue; Chorale-prelude, Wenn wir in höchsten Nöten sein, BWV.641

Dates & times

12 Apr 2021
Approximate run time: 115 mins
Run times may vary, find out more

where

Royal Festival Hall

Pricing

£15
Booking fee: £3.50 (Members £0.00)

Multi-buy discount

£15

Multi-buy discount
Save money when you book two or more International Organ Series concerts. To receive your series discount, tickets to all the applicable concerts must be purchased in the same transaction – just add more events to your basket to get the discounts below. Book 2 events, save 10%. Book 3 or more events, save 20%. Not available on Premium seats.

Concessions

25% off
Find out more about our Concessions policy

need to know

Ticketing
Save money when you book two or more International Organ Series concerts. To receive your series discount, tickets to all the applicable concerts must be purchased in the same transaction – just add more events to your basket to get the discounts below.
Book 2 events, save 10%
Book 3 or more events, save 20%
Not available on Premium seats.

Southbank Centre takes a strong view on secondary ticketing. We require the lead booker to attend (photo ID may be requested). Tickets can only be resold by Southbank Centre or one of its authorised agents.

Discounted student tickets are available from Student Pulse in the month before this concert. Some of these seats are on the stage.
Download the Student Pulse app or register online.

Related events
Royal Festival Hall at 6.15pm: pre-concert talk. With Southbank Centre Organ Curator, William McVicker, international concert organist James McVinnie discusses his diverse career as an organist, keyboardist, ensemble player and teacher. Admission free.